Catching up with Samantha Cristoforetti

by Grania

Samantha Cristoforetti is back from her 199 day mission on the International Space Station and spoke to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about her experience there and being back on our planet. Long story short: gravity is a nasty welcome back to earth and we are all crew members on Spaceship Earth.

She talks about the experience of being able to fly in zero gravity (“I was like Superman!”) and the future of manned space travel, and getting children into science and technology.

Watch it here.

And as a lagniappe, an article on the rehabilitation astronauts receive on returning planet-side. Things like blood pressure, bone density and thinner skin all need repairing.

Image credit: NASA


The research on astronaut’s skin is a new investigation and was started because many astronauts had complained about skin problems; so Cristoforetti’s team had their skin scanned before and after the mission to help with this.

“We use femtosecond laser pulses. We scan the skin and we get signals from the skin, particularly fluorescence, as well as another signal called second harmonic generation,” he explained. “So with these two signals we can build up images and get a precise look into the skin with a high resolution. The resolution is a factor of one thousand times better than ultrasound.”

The article also shows many of her favorite photographs that she took while on her ISS mission. I love this one of Carribean.



Here’s a dramatic set taken of noctilucent clouds, not an angle we often get to see.



Hat-tip: Heather Hastie & John Hucul


  1. Posted August 1, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I believe this shot is not of noctilucent clouds but of the Caribbean. The one of clouds is the one above it.

  2. Posted August 1, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Nice, but the picture you’re showing here is of the Carribean, the noctilucent cloud picture is the one just above it in the original article (black with a blue band across)

  3. John Frum
    Posted August 1, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    It’s not due to zero gravity. There’s gravity there otherwise the ISS would travel straight away from earth.

    • peepuk
      Posted August 2, 2015 at 3:14 am | Permalink

      Indeed, there is no such thing as zero gravity. Because of friction with the very thin atmosphere up there they slow down a bit, so they have to increase their speed from time to time to stay in orbit.

      Nice video:

      • rickflick
        Posted August 2, 2015 at 6:25 am | Permalink

        My Honda Fit accelerates better than that. Take that NASA!

  4. Larry Smith
    Posted August 1, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    The sentence “we are all crew members on Spaceship Earth” reminded me of these lines from the Tom Waits song “Dust in the Ground”:

    “Hell’s boiling over,
    And heaven is full,
    We’re chained to world,
    And we all gotta pull.”

  5. rickflick
    Posted August 1, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    What a charming and talented woman. I think she serves as a great role model for young women of the next generation. Give science a chance to win you over. It is as fascinating as novels.

  6. merilee
    Posted August 2, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink


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